Businesses still waiting for access to €200 million COVID fund – Troy

Published on: 07 April 2020

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Business, Enterprise and Innovation Robert Troy has said it’s not good enough that businesses impacted by COVID-19 are still waiting to access a €200 million support fund established to address liquidity concerns.

He explained, “Minister Humphreys announced a week ago that DG Competition had approved the business support fund under the EU Commission’s Temporary Framework to give Member States full flexibility under State aid rules to support their businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

“At the time of the announcement a commitment was made to publish the final details of this new support fund “in the coming days.” To date it still has not been published. Businesses are on their knees, time is of the essence, and the speed of delivery, or lack thereof, is frustrating for businesses.

“While the €200 million support fund to address liquidity concerns is welcome, significant more funding supports will be needed to stop companies going under as cash flow difficulties mount. We are not at the game in comparison to international counterparts

“Changes to State aid rules announced on March 19th permit the grant-aiding of companies to address urgent liquidity needs up to €800,000. This is a massive increase in the aid intensity permitted and the amount can be topped up.”

Deputy Troy also said it was imperative that the loosening of State aid rules is operationalised speedily here. This is urgently needed to give liquidity supports to businesses especially SMEs in the form of zero interest loans and cash grants to ensure companies can keep their heads above water.

He continued, “Minister Humphreys needs to operationalise all contingency supports approved to date by the EU and avail of new state aid rules to protect exposed businesses from Covid-19. Time is ticking,” concluded Deputy Troy.